Goodbyes, mailboxes and lights in Ruhenstroth |

Goodbyes, mailboxes and lights in Ruhenstroth

There are so many things on my mind right now. First, a fond farewell to longtime resident Larry Lutz, who passed away quietly in his sleep this week. Neighbors speak highly of him as a “good shepherd” in his roles as Fire Chief in LA County as well as a Bishop of the LDS church here in town. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

Next, a problem of bureaucracy that we need to solve: Neighbor Nancy McCauley wrote to me about the sad state of our mailbox area. She is absolutely right. There are potholes at least a foot deep, with hard edges of asphalt along the road — perfect conditions for a busted tire. As the weather gets worse, we can expect falls and someone is bound to get stuck in the spring with all the mud we usually get.

Unfortunately for us, that spot falls into a grey area. The county doesn’t maintain it and the postal service is only responsible for maintaining the pads for the mailboxes. I spoke with Doreen Hyatt, the postmaster for this area who explained it to me. Then I called the Public Works office for Douglas County and left a message with Chris Oakden who was not available.

I will keep making calls, but it may be up to us to fix the area. Bob Spriggs over on Stagecoach is willing to help fix the area and bring in gravel if we can raise $500. I am willing to collect donations and coordinate and help fill in holes, so let me know if you can help. The Briers will pledge $20 to get the fund started. With 200 residents, we should be able to collect that without much trouble.

Now for a much more pleasant topic: our holiday lights contest.

Howie has graciously made a sign for this year’s contest, but he is turning in his jigsaw and we’ll need to find a new way to honor our winner next year. I spoke with Beth Francis up on Megan Court and she said we could probably figure out a way to make a sign we could re-use each year. I like that idea a lot, so I’m also taking on the job of organizing that if anyone has ideas or wants to contribute time, materials or money.

This year’s contest will run a bit longer than usual — our neighborhood column will be published on Christmas Day, so we have until Dec. 18 to get lights up and the judging done. (We still need judges). We should plan to finish and get the photo taken by the 18th so we can make sure to get the article done by the early closing deadline. We want to make sure that Caryn and Kurt and the other good folks at The Record-Courier can enjoy their holiday. If your family can judge or have questions, please let me know.

Reach Karen Brier at, or 790-0072.